imaginBank: Europe’s coolest bank
Looking like a social media platform is doing CaixaBank's mobile-only bank no harm at all
Few of Europe’s banking centres are as much fun as Barcelona, CaixaBank’s home. So it is fitting that imaginBank, which CaixaBank launched in 2016, has the youngest demographic and the most explicitly millennial orientation of the rapidly growing digital offshoots sprouted by Europe’s mainstream banks. It is also the only one that is mobile-only.
David Urbano, imaginBank’s director describes “an app that looks more like a video game or social media.”
Much of its marketing is done by social media such as Facebook and Instagram.
Launched in January 2016, imaginBank has already reached more than a million customers, with an average age of just 23. As most of those have come from CaixaBank, this growth might partly reflect the greater relative popularity of CaixaBank among young people.
However, imaginBank hopes to win other customers from digitally focused rivals in Spain, such as BBVA, EVO Banco (a former Nova Caixa Galicia unit owned by Apollo) and ING.
At the moment, imaginBank offers little more than an account, a debit and credit card, a consumer loan up to €15,000 and a few insurance products.
“It’s a very basic group of services,” says Urbano.
Nevertheless, the array of services to which imaginBank customers have access is growing, in part through work to link the app with CaixaBank’s app, which might allow imaginBank customers to buy savings products, for example.
Mortgages are another question. At the moment, at least, imaginBank can only refer mortgage applicants to CaixaBank, which would then also gain that customers’ current account.
“The idea is to be the young bank of CaixaBank,” Urbano concludes.